Another reason to check self builds carefully (1 Viewer)

Sep 29, 2019
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This photo was posted on a forum asking for help with a frayed cable.

It was apparently done originally by a professional. 😂

If ever you buy one, check it all over with a fine tooth and comb, it’s a wonder it hasn’t self combusted. I dread to think what the gas install is like.

E08661B8-57BC-4E6E-ACA8-D33E169991F4.jpeg
 

Basildog

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Feb 21, 2018
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We had one in the other day with more elbow and fittings than you can imagine, our fitter found over 30 leaks and informed the owner that the only option was to replace the entire gas pipe work.
The owner was nearly in tears and said that we couldn’t possibly get the gas pipes in one length to each appliance and said he was so far in he would have to continue, asked if he was coming back for a test once sorted he declined ⚠️

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Feb 16, 2013
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This photo was posted on a forum asking for help with a frayed cable.

It was apparently done originally by a professional. 😂

If ever you buy one, check it all over with a fine tooth and comb, it’s a wonder it hasn’t self combusted. I dread to think what the gas install is like.

View attachment 728932
Is there anymore to this, how's it got like that and what caused it, it's not necessaryly the bloke that built it, that did it
 

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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This photo was posted on a forum asking for help with a frayed cable.

It was apparently done originally by a professional. 😂

If ever you buy one, check it all over with a fine tooth and comb, it’s a wonder it hasn’t self combusted. I dread to think what the gas install is like.

View attachment 728932
Now that is bad the bare cable the insulation has melted due to overheating and it's bow tight & where are fuses that should have protected it, the other cable is wrapped in black tape. The cables are way undersized no wonder the insulation melted.
 
OP
OP
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Sep 29, 2019
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Is there anymore to this, how's it got like that and what caused it, it's not necessaryly the bloke that built it, that did it
Post has now been deleted, they were advised to rip the lot out and start again.

They did insist it was professionally fitted. Probably by someone who didn’t have a profession involving electricity. 😂

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Basildog

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Feb 21, 2018
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Post has now been deleted, they were advised to rip the lot out and start again.

They did insist it was professionally fitted. Probably by someone who didn’t have a profession involving electricity. 😂
We have a (Professionally converted) van at our workshop now ⚠️
Brand new Fiat Ducato Automatic given to the conversion company.
Spare tyre screwed to the floor
Water tank wiring attached to the handbrake mechanism
Gas manifold held up on sky hooks .
You have to feel for their victims , Ooops I mean customers.

18F4EF2B-CDF6-43A7-8C59-CA841BF2D002.jpeg 7A563A44-732C-4EE0-B303-BD05670EAD23.jpeg 48331D72-4A79-4B01-898E-AD4164CB327B.jpeg F02437AB-CEAA-4265-815C-7B92662E5E8B.jpeg
 
Jul 18, 2009
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Some commercially professionally built ones aren't much better - allegedly :censored:
Like Our Brand New La Strada
I recall speaking to a guy on a site who said his wiring was trapped between the chassis and the bodywork on a professional coachbuilt MH.

Gordon
Same as our Factory Frankia
& professional ones are not a lot better.

Now that is bad the bare cable the insulation has melted due to overheating and it's bow tight & where are fuses that should have protected it, the other cable is wrapped in black tape. The cables are way undersized no wonder the insulation melted.
Shocking !. Those were my thoughts on cable size
We have a (Professionally converted) van at our workshop now ⚠️
Brand new Fiat Ducato Automatic given to the conversion company.
Spare tyre screwed to the floor
Water tank wiring attached to the handbrake mechanism
Gas manifold held up on sky hooks .
You have to feel for their victims , Ooops I mean customers.

View attachment 729000 View attachment 729001 View attachment 729002 View attachment 729003
Thats bad
 
Sep 9, 2019
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Autotrail Apache 632
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The wiring is insufficient for the current drawn between the batteries, looks like 6mm to me should be at least 16mm, you can buy the leads already made up for a couple of ££, why try and make your own for such a vital piece of kit? It must have smelled terrible as the insulation burned off.

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Jan 3, 2008
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Looking
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& professional ones are not a lot better.
I'm not sure I agree with that, at least from new you have a comeback and as they are making lots of them problems will tend to be identified. With one or two off self builds the builder may not know one end of a screwdriver from the other and serious faults may never be discovered until there are serious consequences.
 
Jul 28, 2008
822
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Wiltshire, UK
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3,483
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Ducato Sportivo
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Since 2005! 2000+ nights so far...
Scary.
I've given up on some (most) of the self build groups and self professed experts. Problem is you can make things "work" and think you are gods gift, but there is "working" and right. The worst are those who shout bad ways (that work) to the newbies who don't know who to believe so follow what they are told without full understanding of the issues (that the original person may work around). Some of the well known "experts" do dangerous things that they ignore.
Gas bottles with rubber pipes held in with a bungie (my mate said it was fine, worked in his tent)
Camping hookup leads with semi-hard wired goods off them....
Electric cables with bigger birds nests than our tree! (One guy I met installs for others but his van was a death trap (IMO)).

OK, I'm a self builder and open to criticism - but its all done to the best standard I can. (eg. How many vans have bubble leak gas detectors? IMO should be mandatory. Also have electronic LPG detection on board). Electric all colour coordinated, documented, and spec'd/fused correctly etc..

But yes, buying a self build or any modified van - be v careful! All our build pics are online, and when we sold our last van I built it, and the buyers said yeah we know, we saw all the pics and saw what you did so are happy" lol. Phew. Not all are bad, but always take someone know knows what to look out for and questions to ask.....


That picture though has so much wrong with it....... :( Not uncommon. Fuses cost. Correct wires cost. decent crimps and crimping tools cost. Guarantee the person who did it would say "its fine, it works, can't afford the right bits, will change it later...." (until it doesn't)
 
Oct 22, 2020
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I know very little about electrics so might be a dumb question, but if all the cables are carrying power why has the insulation to only one melted?
 
Jul 27, 2013
872
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Van Conversion
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Since childhood!
Some commercially professionally built ones aren't much better - allegedly :censored:
Was certainly true for my friends whose professionally converted van was condemned as dangerous resulting in a court case which they won, but which caused lots of stress and heartache...

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OP
OP
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Sep 29, 2019
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I know very little about electrics so might be a dumb question, but if all the cables are carrying power why has the insulation to only one melted?
Probably to a high powered device like an inverter or main fuse box. To be fair, could be anything as it’s so bad.

They are lucky it isn’t a smouldering heap.
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
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Not far from us saw a Chinese guy converting a short wheelbase Tranis on his drive.
Back door was open an instantaneous gas water heater mounted on the back door gas connect a rubber gas hose and no flue.
 

Northernraider

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Jul 30, 2017
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You don't buy a self build .

You build a self build

The clue is in the name 😉

If you buy a van someone else has built then you take the same risk you do when buying an autotrail or swift or indeed a cathargo , not every one will be built to a good standard.

Every motorhome I've owned has had some clown messing with it before I've bought it and had to put stuff right.

The incredibly poor wiring in that should have been obvious to the buyer when they bought it if they checked it over.
 

Northernraider

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Jul 30, 2017
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Not far from us saw a Chinese guy converting a short wheelbase Tranis on his drive.
Back door was open an instantaneous gas water heater mounted on the back door gas connect a rubber gas hose and no flue.
There's loads of them have them fitted on the inside of the back doors and use them with door open often outside but I've seen a few with them fitted inside shower rooms too. Some are nuts

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Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
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On the coast in West Sussex
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The incredibly poor wiring in that should have been obvious to the buyer when they bought it if they checked it over.
It would be to me but if you look at the wiring in an Autotrail, Auto sleeper, Swift etc., they wouldn't meet my standards with there grossly underside wiring.
 
Feb 16, 2013
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uttoxeter
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ambulance conversion
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You don't buy a self build .

You build a self build

The clue is in the name 😉

If you buy a van someone else has built then you take the same risk you do when buying an autotrail or swift or indeed a cathargo , not every one will be built to a good standard.

Every motorhome I've owned has had some clown messing with it before I've bought it and had to put stuff right.

The incredibly poor wiring in that should have been obvious to the buyer when they bought it if they checked it over.
That's true, even if you buy a hundred grand one off a dealer you don't know what the previous owner did to it.
 
Jul 28, 2008
822
753
Wiltshire, UK
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3,483
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Ducato Sportivo
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Since 2005! 2000+ nights so far...
Yup.Bit shocked to see this tbh

View attachment 729633
Why? Not many at all insulate inside the doors. Indeed there was a great article on the Tribby site (tribute) where a guy started to add insulation and got carried away and ended up putting it back to a bare shell and starting again - and pretty much no insulation. in a PVC insulation is a pain, slow, and difficult - so many (most) pro builders skimp massively.
I used to be paid to work at the NEC on a campervan stand by a manufacturer (as our blog beat their site lol - so everyone interested in the van "knew" of us). Anyway, our van was vv well made (phew) but some of the *M*ainstream *M*akes were nearby..... Obviously got to know each other from the rounds. I asked one about their shower design as I thought it poor and impossible to waterproof. "Oh - we've been doing it for years that way, our customers always want one but never use it so its not a problem". And another, on insulation and the like "99% of customers don't care, they use the vans in the summer, or on sites, so its not worth the effort/cost as most buyers don't care, won't notice, and won't want to pay".
Pretty much when I said we've taken a PVC to -20, had 1500 nights at that time, lots of wild camping, lots of showers/usage etc, they said "you aren't our target, and its not worth making vans designed for that".

Hence DIY lol
 
Jan 16, 2014
1,358
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Surrey
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29,725
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Rapido 854f
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Since 2012
Why? Just their reputation for being a quality converter. I was considering one of their vehicles as a back up plan if my new A class got cancelled. Mine would be used all year around and insulation both in the hot and cold of interest. It also surprised me there was apparently no sound deadening or vapour barrier, all things that are properly considered by the many I've followed who go down the DIY route. A few hours and some insulation on a vehicle costing circa £100k is not asking or expecting too much. I came to the conclusion that if they are among the best, I'd do it myself.
 

Basildog

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Feb 21, 2018
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Yup.Bit shocked to see this tbh

View attachment 729633
We have always joked about the fact that British manufacturers don’t have the slightest idea of what winterising a van / Motorhome / Caravan actually means.
They just stick a big heater in them and they allegedly pass the insulation test for their trade body ⚠️😂

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